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SMC BASKETBALL: Saint Mary’s falls to 1-5 after loss

Bill Brink and Dan Cooper | Monday, December 4, 2006

In another close game, the Belles came up short Saturday night, losing to Washington University 66-62 at home.

The win improved the Bears record to 3-3 while the Belles dropped to 1-5, extending their losing streak to three.

“We just need to get out and play and get a win,” guard Allison Kessler said. “[We] need to focus on the next game.”

The Bears jumped to an early lead due to the play of forward Rebecca Parker who scored nine of Washington’s first 15 points. Washington would maintain control of the game throughout the first half.

With 23 seconds left in the first half, senior guard Bridget Lipke hit a jumper to pull the Belles within five, sending the Belles into the locker room down 29-34 at halftime.

Despite trailing for the first 35 minutes, the Belles surged to a 20-10 run and took the lead, 56-55, with 4:55 to go.

Saint Mary’s matched the Bears in forced turnovers (15) and points scored off turnovers (17), but were out-rebounded (38-32) and shot a lower rate from the field (42 percent compared to Washington’s 46).

Washington regained the lead with an 8-2 run and held on for the win.

Junior guard Allison Kessler was near-automatic from the charity stripe, making 12 of her 15 free throw attempts as the Belles out shot the Bears from the line (66%-60%).

Recent struggles were “not [due to] anything we haven’t been doing,” Kessler said. “[We need to] get better at what we’re doing right.”

Saint Mary’s will hit the court tonight at Carthage (2-2) which has dropped its last two games. In those contests, Carthage has averaged 56 points per game, down from 70.5 in its first two.

The Lady Reds utilize their bench greatly – no starter averages over 29.5 minutes.

Forward Katie Jarger leads the team with 14 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

The Lady Reds have a plus-3.3 turnover per game margin as well as a 0.8 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Kessler feels that the problem Saint Mary’s has had with turnovers stems not from the Belles’ offense but their defense.

“It’s more of not really changing the way we play, but trying to cause more turnovers on their side,” she said. “If we’re going to allow high amounts of turnovers, we need to cause high amounts of turnovers.”